2 Chronicles 2 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

The Kingdom of Israel
From Splendor to Disaster
Splendor Disaster
King Solomon
of Judah
2 Chronicles 1-9
Successive Kings
of Judah
2Chr 10-36
2Chr 10:1-19
Rulers of the Southern
Kingdom of Judah
After the Split
The Exile
of Judah
2Chr 36:17-23

2Chr 1:1-17

2Chr 2:1-7:22
2Chr 8:1-9:31
of the Temple
Decline & Destruction
of the Temple
~40 Years ~393 Years

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Click Chart from Charles Swindoll









1Samuel 2 Samuel 1Kings 1Kings 2 Kings


1-4 5-10 11-20 21-24 1-11 12-22 1-17 18-25

1 Chronicles 10



2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.



2 Chronicles 2:1 Now Solomon decided to build a house for the name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself.

Related Passages: 

1 Kings 5:1-12 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always been a friend of David. 2 Then Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying, 3 “You know that David my father was unable to build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which surrounded him, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet. 4 “But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. 5 “Behold, I intend to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he will build the house for My name.’ 6 Now therefore, command that they cut for me cedars from Lebanon, and my servants will be with your servants; and I will give you wages for your servants according to all that you say, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”  7 When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the LORD today, who has given to David a wise son over this great people.” 8 So Hiram sent word to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message which you have sent me; I will do what you desire concerning the cedar and cypress timber. 9 “My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea; and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place where you direct me, and I will have them broken up there, and you shall carry them away. Then you shall accomplish my desire by giving food to my household.” 10 So Hiram gave Solomon as much as he desired of the cedar and cypress timber. 11 Solomon then gave Hiram 20,000 kors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty kors of beaten oil; thus Solomon would give Hiram year by year. 12 The LORD gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a covenant.

J.A. Thompson: With 2 Chronicles 2 the writer reaches the point to which he has been aiming, the building of the temple. The events recorded in 2 Chr 2:1–7:22 were central for the Chronicler's work as a whole. In fact, since the introduction of David in 1 Chronicles 11 the story leads to its focal point in the erection of the temple, its physical building, its dedication with prayer and sacrifice, and God's acceptance of it when he appeared to Solomon and declared some important theological values for which the temple was intended to stand. Having established the pedigree of the true Israel in 1 Chronicles 1–9 and having dealt with Israel's experimental king, Saul, son of Kish, the crucial story begins in 1 Chronicles 11. Thereafter the narrative is bent toward the planning and building of the temple, the physical symbol of God's presence among his people Israel and the place where he might be worshiped according to his divine prescriptions.

John Olley: As Solomon gives attention to building the temple (2 Chron. 2:1), he first arranges for the people that will be needed, including artisans and laborers, as well as the large amount of good timber unavailable in Israel. The Chronicler tells how Solomon “sent word” to “Hiram the king of Tyre” requesting a “skilled” artisan and also timber (2Ch 2:3–10), to which Hiram responds (2Ch 2:11–16). The correspondence is framed by repeated statements of the counting and assigning of “resident aliens” as laborers (2Ch 2:2, 17–18). The Chronicler has reshaped the account in 1 Kings 5, incorporating material found later in 1 Kings 7:13–14. Solomon’s words to Hiram and Hiram’s reply highlight two themes concerning the temple that are relevant in the postexilic era. -

First, the temple is to be a place for offerings “as ordained forever for Israel” (2 Chron. 2:4, 6b). Mosaic prescriptions continue, with another Mosaic parallel seen in the variety of skills required by the lead craftsman, similar to those needed for the tabernacle (2Ch 2:7, 14).

A second theme is the greatness of the temple as pointing to “the Lord our God” who surpasses all gods and cannot be limited to the temple (2Ch 2:5, 6, 12), and who “loves his people” (v. 11). The Chronicler also notes association with David and the artisans he provided (2Ch 2:3, 7b, 14b, 17).

Andrew Hill: Despite David’s extensive preparations for the building of the Jerusalem temple (1 Chron. 21–29), the scope of the task still requires Solomon to supplant his father’s work with preliminary efforts. The bulk of the present chapter is devoted to the exchange of correspondence between Solomon and Hiram, king of Tyre. Brief notes pertaining to the labor force for the temple project frame the negotiations of Solomon and Hiram (2Ch 2:1–2, 17–18). . . Solomon makes three requests of Hiram: cedar logs, a skilled craftsman, and pine and algum logs (2Ch 2:3–9). In return for these raw building materials Solomon will provide Hiram with supplies of wheat, barley, honey, and olive oil (2Ch 2:10). The foodstuffs bartered for the lumber are sent overland to Tyre, while the timbers are floated down to Joppa from Tyre in rafts (2Ch 2:16). The more interesting features of the correspondence are the synopsis of temple worship (2Ch 2:4) and theological treatise (2Ch 2:5–6) Solomon offers the Phoenician king.

Now Solomon decided to build a house for the name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself - Note the good order - God's house mentioned first! 

Warren Wiersbe - As he anticipated the building of the temple, David had set aside some of the spoils of battle especially for the Lord (1 Chron. 22:14). This amounted to 3,750 tons of gold, 37,500 tons of silver, and an unmeasured amount of bronze, iron, wood, and stone. All this wealth he presented publicly to Solomon (1 Chron. 29:1-5). David also added his own personal treasure and then invited the leaders of the nation to contribute as well (1 Chron. 29:1-10). The final totals were 4,050 tons of gold and over 38,000 tons of silver, not to speak of thousands of tons of bronze and iron, as well as precious stones. It was a great beginning for a great project. David also gave Solomon the plans for the temple that had been given to him by the Lord (1 Chron. 28). David had also assembled some artisans and laborers to follow those plans and work in wood and stone to prepare material for the temple (1 Chron. 22:1-4). Hiram, king of Tyre, had provided workers and materials for the building of David's palace (2 Sam. 5:11), and David had enlisted their help in preparing wood for the temple (1 Chron. 22:4). Solomon took advantage of this royal friendship to enlist Hiram to provide the workers and timber needed for the temple. (OT Commentary page 623)

Frederick Mabie: The construction of Solomon’s temple (building on David’s preparations; cf. 1Ch 21–29) began in his fourth year as king (ca. 967 BC) during the spring month of Ziv (part of April and May) and was completed in the eleventh year of his reign (ca. 960 BC), a seven-year building process (cf. 1Ki 6:1; 2Ch 3:2). Unlike the account of Solomon’s building activities in 1 Kings (e.g., 1Ki 7:1–12), the Chronicler only mentions Solomon’s palace in passing. The central narrative focus of chs. 2–7 is the construction of the Jerusalem temple.

John Olley - The “temple” is to be “for the name of the Lord,” an expression that brings together both his presence and his transcendence and includes his honor and glory. In the ancient world, a “name” was more than an identifier, being also used to describe character and (as today) reputation and fame (good or bad). God cannot be “contained” by a building, but the temple, identified as the Lord’s house, is to display his greatness and his covenantal relationship with his people (2Ch 2:6, 9b); it is a focal point for worship (2Ch 2:4–6, 9b), leading to others’ recognizing his honor and glory (Deut. 12:5; 1 Chron. 13:6; 17:23–24; 22:19).

David Guzik: We might think that the greatest thing about Solomon was his wisdom, his riches, his proverbs or his writings. Clearly, for the Chronicler the most important thing about Solomon was the temple he built. This was most important because it was most relevant to a community of returning exiles who struggled to build a new temple and to make a place for Israel among the nations ag

RON DANIEL:  Review As we began our study of 2Chronicles, we saw that young King Solomon led the leaders of Israel to offer sacrifices on the altar in Gibeon. That night, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and asked him what he wanted. Solomon only asked for wisdom to lead God's people. God granted him not only that wisdom, but wealth and honor as well. Solomon began to use this wisdom for godly purposes, but used some of his wealth in less-than-godly pursuits. This was the first time we were exposed to Solomon's dual nature, and certainly won't be the last. 2Chr 2:1-2 Solomon Decided - Solomon's father, King David, had charged him to build a house for the Lord (1Chon. 22:6). Now that his dad is gone, it is up to Solomon to obey or not. He decided he would. But we also see that he made another decision: to build a house for himself as well. King David's house was not old. It was built brand new for him, a gift from King Hiram of Tyre (1Chron. 14:1). It was made of cedar and cut stones (2Sam. 5:11), a house fit for a king. But Solomon wanted a different house, a new house, a royal palace. Once again, there is the dual nature - a desire to please God and a desire to please himself. How very much like us Solomon was!

Matthew Henry Notes: Chapter: 2
Solomon's trading, which we read of in the close of the foregoing chapter, and the encouragement he gave both to merchandise and manufacturers, were very commendable. But building was the work he was designed for, and to that business he is here applying himself. Here is,

I. Solomon's determination to build the temple and a royal palace, and his appointing labourers to be employed herein (2Chr 2:1, 2, 17, 18).

II. His request to Huram king of Tyre to furnish him both with artists and materials (2Chr 2:3-10).

III. Huram's obliging answer to, and compliance with, his request (2Chr 2:11-16).

2Chr 2:1-10
Solomon's wisdom was given him, not merely for speculation, to entertain himself (though it is indeed a princely entertainment), nor merely for conversation, to entertain his friends, but for action; and therefore to action he immediately applies himself. Observe,

I. His resolution within himself concerning his business (2Chr 2:1): He determined to build, in the first place, a house for the name of the Lord. It is fit that he who is the first should be served-first a temple and then a palace, a house not so much for himself, or his own convenience and magnitude, as for the kingdom, for the honour of it among its neighbours and for the decent reception of the people whenever they had occasion to apply to their prince; so that in both he aimed at the public good. Those are the wisest men that lay out themselves most for the honour of the name of the Lord and the welfare of communities. We are not born for ourselves, but for God and our country.

II. His embassy to Huram, king of Tyre, to engage his assistance in the prosecution of his designs. The purport of his errand to him is much the same here as we had it 1 Ki. 5:2, etc., only here it is more largely set forth.

1. The reasons why he makes this application to Huram are here more fully represented, for information to Huram as well as for inducement.

(1.) He pleads his father's interest in Huram, and the kindness he had received from him (2Chr 2:3): As thou didst deal with David, so deal with me. As we must show kindness to, so we may expect kindness from, our fathers' friends, and with them should cultivate a correspondence.

(2.) He represents his design in building the temple: he intended it for a place of religious worship (2Chr 2:4), that all the offerings which God had appointed for the honour of his name might be offered up there. The house was built that it might be dedicated to God and used in his service. This we should aim at in all our business, that our havings and doings may be all to the glory of God. He mentions various particular services that were there to be performed, for the instruction of Huram. The mysteries of the true religion, unlike those of the Gentile superstition, coveted not concealment.

(3.) He endeavors to inspire Huram with very great and high thoughts of the God of Israel, by expressing the mighty veneration he had for his holy name: Great is our God above all gods, above all idols, above all princes. Idols are nothing, princes are little, and both under the control of the God of Israel; and therefore,

{1.} "The house must be great; not in proportion to the greatness of that God to whom it is to be dedicated (for between finite and infinite there can be no proportion), but in some proportion to the great value and esteem we have for this God.''

{2.} "Yet, be it ever so great, it cannot be a habitation for the great God. Let not Huram think that the God of Israel, like the gods of the nations, dwells in temples made with hands, Acts 17:24. No, the heaven of heavens cannot contain him. It is intended only for the convenience of his priests and worshippers, that they may have a fit place wherein to burn sacrifice before him.''

{3.} He looked upon himself, though a mighty prince, as unworthy the honour of being employed in this great work: Who am I that I should build him a house? It becomes us to go about every work for God with a due sense of our utter insufficiency for it and our incapacity to do any thing adequate to the divine perfections. It is part of the wisdom wherein we ought to walk towards those that are without carefully to guard against all misapprehension which any thing we say or do may occasion concerning God; so Solomon does here in his treaty with Huram.

2. The requests he makes to him are more particularly set down here.

(1.) He desired Huram would furnish him with a good hand to work (2Chr 2:7): Send me a man. He had cunning men with him in Jerusalem and Judah, whom David provided, 1 Chr. 22:15. Let them not think but that Jews had some among them that were artists. But "send me a man to direct them. There are ingenious men in Jerusalem, but not such engravers as are in Tyre; and therefore, since temple-work must be the best in its kind, let me have the best workmen that can be got.''

(2.) With good materials to work on (2Chr 2:8), cedar and other timber in abundance (2Chr 2:8, 9); for the house must be wonderfully great, that is, very stately and magnificent, no cost must be spared, nor any contrivance wanting in it.

3. Here is Solomon's engagement to maintain the workmen (2Chr 2:10), to give them so much wheat and barley, so much wine and oil. He did not feed his workmen with bread and water, but with plenty, and every thing of the best. Those that employ labourers ought to take care they be not only well paid, but well provided for with sufficient of that which is wholesome and fit for them. Let the rich masters do for their poor workmen as they would be done by if the tables were turned.


2 Chronicles 2:2 So Solomon assigned 70,000 men to carry loads and 80,000 men to quarry stone in the mountains and 3,600 to supervise them.  

  • told out threescore (KJV): 2Ch 2:18 1Ki 5:15,16 

Related Passages: 

2 Chronicles 2:18 He appointed 70,000 of them to carry loads and 80,000 to quarry stones in the mountains and 3,600 supervisors to make the people work.

1 Kings 5:13-18 Now King Solomon levied forced laborers from all Israel; and the forced laborers numbered 30,000 men. 14 He sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in relays; they were in Lebanon a month and two months at home. And Adoniram was over the forced laborers. 15 Now Solomon had 70,000 transporters, and 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains, 16 besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were over the project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work. 17 Then the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stones. 18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites cut them, and prepared the timbers and the stones to build the house.

COMMENT - Under the supervision of Adoniram, the work force on Israelite citizens was sent in shifts of 10,000 to Lebanon (one month in Lebanon two months at home) to assist in the harvesting of materials. 

1 Kings 9:15-23 Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied to build the house of the LORD, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17So Solomon rebuilt Gezer and the lower Beth-horon 18 and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah, 19 and all the storage cities which Solomon had, even the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule. 20 As for all the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of the sons of Israel, 21 their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel were unable to destroy utterly, from them Solomon levied forced laborers, even to this day. 22 But Solomon did not make slaves of the sons of Israel; for they were men of war, his servants, his princes, his captains, his chariot commanders, and his horsemen.  23 These were the chief officers who were over Solomon’s work, five hundred and fifty, who ruled over the people doing the work. 

2 Chronicles 8:7-10 All of the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, 8 namely, from their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel had not destroyed, them Solomon raised as forced laborers to this day. 9 But Solomon did not make slaves for his work from the sons of Israel; they were men of war, his chief captains and commanders of his chariots and his horsemen. 10 These were the chief officers of King Solomon, two hundred and fifty who ruled over the people. 

So Solomon assigned 70,000 men to carry loads and 80,000 men to quarry stone in the mountains and 3,600 to supervise them - Solomon also drafted forced laborers (see note below) from among the 12 tribes of Israel some 30,000 strong (1Ki 5:13)

Believer's Study Bible - "According to the accounts in 1Ki 5:16 and 1Ki 9:23, the number of overseers was 3,300 plus 550, making a total of 3,850. According to 2Ch 8:10, another 250 "chief officers" are added to the 3,600 "overseers" mentioned here. Thus, the totals are the same, and the apparent discrepancy can be attributed to different methods of reckoning the "chiefs" and "overseers," rather than to ignorance on the part of the chronicler." 

Wiersbe gives some helpful background on the labor force used to build the temple and most of this information is from the account in Kings - David's incomplete census had revealed that there were 1,300,000 able-bodied men in the land (2Sa 24:9) and Solomon conscripted only 30,000 to labor on the temple, about 2.3 percent of the total available labor force. Ten thousand of the men spent one month each quarter in Lebanon assisting Hiram's men in their work, and then they had two months at home. These men were Jewish citizens and were not treated like slaves (1Ki 9:22; see Lev. 25:39-43). Solomon also took a census of the non-Israelite aliens in the land and drafted 150,000 of them to cut and transport stones for the temple (1Ki 5:15-18; 1Ki 9:15-23; 2Ch 2:17-18; 8:7-10). Of this group, 70,000 carried burdens and 80,000 cut limestone blocks from the hills. In charge of this group were 3,000 overseers and 300 supervisors who were aliens, and over the entire group were 250 Jewish officers. The stone blocks had to be cut carefully so they would fit together perfectly when assembled at the temple site (1Ki 6:7), and that would demand careful planning and expert supervision. Even though the conscription involved a very small portion of the male citizens, the Jewish people resented Solomon taking 30,000 of their men to work in Lebanon four months out of the year (see note on forced laborers below). This critical attitude helped to strengthen the people's revolt against Rehoboam and to precipitate the division of the nation after Solomon's death (1Ki 12:1-21). Indeed, when it came to labor and taxes, Solomon did indeed put a heavy yoke on the people. (ED: INTERESTING FACT GIVEN THIS MAN WAS GRANTED GREAT WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE!) 

FORCED LABORERS - NOTE OF HEBREW WORD "MAS" (04522) TRANSLATED "FORCED" (1Ki 5:14, 2Ch 8:8, et al) - "MAS" refers to labor forced on someone or service demanded. The noun is used seven times to refer to the reduction of the former inhabitants of the Promised Land to forced laborers by the invading Israelites (Josh. 16:10; 17:13; Judg. 1:30, 33, 35; 1 Kings 9:21; 2 Chr. 8:8). All citizens were subject to the levy for forced labor for public works (1 Kings 9:15) as well as the Canaanite classes who were consigned to this status in perpetuity.  TWOT adds "During Solomon's reign, mas was extended to include Israelites as well as foreigners and war prisoners (1 Kings 5:13-14] and the parallels in Chr; but cf. 1 Kings 9:22) in the labor force necessary to carry out Solomon's extensive building programs (1 Kings 9:15). This unpopular measure, and Rehoboam's refusal to moderate it, was the immediate cause of the secession of the ten tribes and the establishment of the northern kingdom." 

Frederick Mabie: An ongoing challenge in the construction of large building projects in the biblical world was the supply of skilled and unskilled workers. Given this challenge, manpower requirements for such projects were commonly extracted from slaves, prisoners of war, and lower sectors of the society. In the case of larger empires the acquisition of human resources was a motivating factor for military excursions along with the perennial goal of obtaining financial assets such as gold and silver. In the aftermath of such military operations, both skilled and unskilled laborers would become part of an indentured workforce. In military annals from the biblical world, the number of individuals seized for work projects was listed together with other plunder obtained in battle.

August Konkel: The commissioners are likely to be broken down to 3,000 supervisors over labor and 600 officers in the higher echelons of government. Each supervisor would be responsible for about 50 men. The levy is recruited from the alien population, non-Israelites living within Israelite society. Apparently the census was in part necessary because of Israelite hegemony expanded over the new areas that David had brought under his control (Rainey 1970: 201–2). These non-Israelites would now be participants within Israelite society, but they would not have had the same status as those from native Israelite families. The Chronicler will return to the question of conscripted labor when he concludes the account of Solomon (2Ch 8:7–10). A second kind of forced labor is introduced there, which apparently was also conscripted from nonnative peoples living among Israel.

Ginzberg relates some of the legends surrounding the building of the temple. “During the seven years it took to build the Temple, not a single workman died who was employed about it, nor even did a single one fall sick. And as the workmen were sound and robust from first to last, so the perfection of their tools remained unimpaired until the building stood complete. Thus the work suffered no sort of interruption.”

Walton - stonecutters. The parallel passage in 1 Kings 5:15–18 indicates the need for quarriers who wrenched the stone from the cliffs as well as more highly trained Phoenician Gebalites (from Byblos) who dressed the stone for use in the construction of the temple. The work at the quarry was accomplished by cutting trenches (about two feet wide all around) to isolate the stone that was to be used. Then wooden wedges were driven in at the bottom and drenched with water. The resulting expansion of the wood freed the bottom of the stone. Though this took no great skill on the part of the laborers, a supervisor with training would be needed to determine where the trenches should be cut so as to procure the best pieces of stone. The next stage was rough shaping. After this the true masons took over as they dressed the stone surfaces and gave it the proportions needed. The work was done with such precision that no mortar was needed. The Egyptian “satire on the trades” describes the cramped back and thighs of the stonecutter who destroys his arms fashioning “costly stones” for buildings. The work of stonecutters is depicted on some of the wall panels decorating Sennacherib’s palace in Nineveh.

Donald Cantrell - —2 Chronicles 2; 3; 4, & 5

Solomon was wise enough to enlist the best builders of his age to come and craft all of the intricate designs of the temple. The King of Tyre was friends of King David and now with King Solomon and he was willing to send one of his most qualified men. The man’s name was Huram-Abi and he was a cunning craftsman with many skills. Huram-Abi was the son of a widow from the tribes of Dan and Naphtali and his father was from Tyre. This craftsman was skilled in working with gold, silver, brass, iron, stone, fine linings, and was excellent in the field of engraving. The Lord at times places specific skills upon some people and they are able to perform wondrous achievements.

Point to Ponder

In reading our devotionals we previously read how God would give certain men specific skills and they were to use those skills for the Lord. Each one of us has things that the Lord can use. I also am of the belief that if we seriously seek the Lord pertaining to a specific skill or gift that there is a possibility he could give us our hearts desire. The Lord did not make Solomon a wise man until he was reigning as king over Israel. He was not a child but was a full grown man when God gave him this wondrous gift and I think God can do the same for us, if we are serious and we are willing to ask him.

            I. -The Chosen Men (2 Chronicles 2)
            II. -The Costly Materials (2 Chronicles 3 & 4)
            III.-The Cherished Moment (2 Chronicles 5)

Point to Ponder

The Bible tells us that Solomon was so rich that there was so much silver and gold inside the city of Jerusalem that it was viewed as no different as stones. He planted so many cedar trees that they were as plenteous as the sycamore trees. The King did not ask for riches but God gave them to him abundantly.

Point to Ponder

It took seven years for the house of God to be fully completed. The site was located at the threshing floor of Oman and upon completion the ark of God is placed upon in its proper location and as everyone looked the temple, they saw the cloud of God settle upon the temple showing that he had accepted the work that had been done. This was a landmark day in the history of the nation.

2 Chronicles 2:3 Then Solomon sent word to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, “As you dealt with David my father and sent him cedars to build him a house to dwell in, so do for me.

  • Huram (KJV): 1Ki 5:1, Hiram, As thou didst. 2Sa 5:11 1Ch 14:1



Then Solomon sent word to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, “As you dealt with David my father and sent him cedars to build him a house to dwell in, so do for me.

Raymond Dillard: According to Josephus (Ag.Ap. 1.117) Hiram ascended the throne after the death of his father Abibaal ca. 970 B.C.; he was nineteen years old at his accession and reigned for thirty-four years. Josephus is the main source of chronological information on the Phoenician kings, though estimates of the worth of his data vary; see the discussion in Katzenstein, Tyre, 80–84. The Chronicler consistently writes the name “Huram,” a variant of the form used in Kings, “Hiram.” Both are shortened forms of the name ʾAhȋrām (Harris, Grammar of the Phoenician Language [New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1936] 75).

John Olley -Tyre was the major Phoenician port and trading center, around 50 miles (80 km) north of Jerusalem. The main center was on an island and thus easily protected; Tyre had its own fleet (cf. 2Ch 8:18). The movement of goods through the port to and from the Mediterranean coasts and inland saw Tyre’s prosperity and influence grow under Hiram. (Four hundred years after Solomon, Ezekiel 27 describes her prosperous trade and false security; a similar description is used of “Babylon” in Rev. 18:9–20.) He provides two reasons to support his request: Hiram’s past relationship with David (a parity treaty) and, more importantly, the greatness of God and the diversity of offerings to be presented to him.

RON DANIEL: 2Ch 2:3-10 Solomon's Request Of Huram - Solomon sent a letter to the king of Tyre, the man who'd sent the gift to his father. In the letter, he requested that a talented craftsman be sent to help the men that Solomon would have working on the temple. He also asked for supplies of wood from Lebanon, the best in the known world.

Dilday - “According to Josephus, copies of such a letter along with Hiram’s reply were preserved in both Hebrew and Tyrian archives and were extant in his day (Josephus Antiquities 8.2.8).” 

QUESTION - Who was Huram / Hiram in the Bible?x

ANSWER - Three people in the Bible were named Hiram, and two of them were associated with Tyre, the ancient Phoenician city-state on the Mediterranean coast. In some cases, Huram is a variant used for the name Hiram. Hiram in Hebrew and its variant Huram both mean “brother of the exalted.”

The first Hiram was the king of Tyre who reigned during the time of King David and his son King Solomon. The earliest mention of King Hiram in the Bible is after David conquered Jerusalem and established his capital there. Hiram sent timber, carpenters, and other skilled laborers for David to employ in the building of his palace: “Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David” (2 Samuel 5:11). In the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles, he is called Huram (1 Chronicles 14:1; 2 Chronicles 2:3).

During Hiram’s reign, Tyre grew into a dominant and thriving commercial center and the most important port city in the Mediterranean. Hiram engaged in extensive building projects and colonized several Mediterranean islands such as Cyprus and Sicily. He also pursued commercial maritime endeavors.

In the writings of the first-century historian Josephus, we learn that Hiram ruled in Tyre for 34 years and died at age 53. Throughout his lifetime, King Hiram remained David’s friend and ally. His long affection for David passed down to King Solomon, with whom he continued friendly relations: “Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram always loved David” (1 Kings 5:1, ESV).

When Solomon built the temple, Hiram sent timber, gold, and craftsmen to help with the construction and assemble the furnishings. In return, Solomon gave grain and oil to Hiram to supply his household. The two kings developed a commercial trading alliance. Solomon also gave Hiram twenty cities in the territory of Galilee, but, when King Hiram surveyed these cities, he was not pleased with them and called the area “the Land of Kabul,” which roughly translates into “the Good-for-nothing Land” (1 Kings 9:10–14; 26–28).

Another man named Hiram worked on Solomon’s temple as a metalsmith. He was from Tyre, as was his father, and his mother was from the tribe of Naphtali: “King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him” (1 Kings 7:13–14).

Hiram the metalsmith is referred to as Huram in 2 Chronicles 4:11 but called Huram-abi in 2 Chronicles 2:13 and 4:16. Abi means “master.”

A third man mentioned in the Bible with the name Huram was a grandson of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:3–5). Scholars believe he may have been the same as Hupham, the Benjamite listed in Numbers 26:39. GotQuestions.org

WIKIPEDIAHiram I (Phoenician: 𐤇𐤓𐤌 Ḥirōm "my brother is exalted"; Hebrew: חִירָם‎ Ḥīrām, Modern Arabic: حيرام, also called Hirom or Huram)[1] was the Phoenician king of Tyre according to the Hebrew Bible. His regnal years have been calculated by some as 980 to 947 BC, in succession to his father, Abibaal. Hiram was succeeded as king of Tyre by his son Baal-Eser I.[2] Hiram is also mentioned in the writings of Menander of Ephesus (early 2nd century BC), as preserved in Josephus's Against Apion, which adds to the biblical account. According to Josephus, Hiram lived for 53 years and reigned 34.


During Hiram's reign, Tyre grew from a satellite of Sidon into the most important of Phoenician cities, and the holder of a large trading empire. He suppressed the rebellion of the first Tyrean colony at Utica, near the later site of Carthage (Against Apion i:18).

The Hebrew Bible says that he allied himself with David, king of the United Kingdom of Israel and his artisans built David's palace in Jerusalem after his capture of the city.[3][4][5] The palace was built using Lebanon Cedar. After David's death, Hiram maintained his alliance with David's son and successor Solomon, again as an equal ("אחי", meaning "my brother")[6][7][8] Through the alliance with Solomon, Hiram ensured himself access to the major trade routes to Egypt, Arabia and Mesopotamia. The two kings also jointly opened a trade route over the Red Sea, connecting the Israelite harbour of Ezion-Geber with a land called Ophir.[9] Some schools of thought suggest that this land of Ophir was in the port city of Sopara near modern Mumbai (Bombay), India.[10]

According to the Bible, both kings grew rich through this trade, and Hiram sent Solomon architects, workmen, cedar wood, and gold to build the First Temple in Jerusalem. Josephus says that he also extended the Tyrean harbour, enlarged the city by joining the two islands on which it was built, and constructed a royal palace and a temple for Melqart (Against Apion i:17). Modern archaeology, however, has found no evidence for these expansions.[11]nsions

Hypotheses regarding chronology of reign[edit]

The Baal Lebanon inscription is thought to mention Hiram.

The beginning date of Hiram's reign is derived from a statement by Josephus by citing both Tyrian court records and the writings of Menander,[12] relating that 143 years passed between the start of construction of Solomon's Temple until the founding of Carthage (or until Dido's flight that led to its founding). Josephus also related that Hiram's reign began 155 years and 8 months before that event and that construction of Solomon's Temple began in the twelfth year of Hiram's reign, which would be 143 years before the building of Carthage.

As pointed out by William Barnes (1801–1886), the date for the start of Temple construction using the Tyrian data is derived "wholly independently" of the way that date is derived by using the Scriptural data.[13]

"Tomb of Hiram"

Main article: Hiram's Tomb

The "Tomb of Hiram", as seen in 2009

The "Tomb of Hiram" (Qabr Hiram) dates from the Persian period, four to six centuries after the presumed time of Hiram.[14] It is built 6 km southeast of Tyre, near the village of Hanaouay, on the road to Qana[14] and has the form of a colossal limestone sarcophagus on a pedestal.[14]

2 Chronicles 2:4 “Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, dedicating it to Him, to burn fragrant incense before Him and to set out the showbread continually, and to offer burnt offerings morning and evening, on sabbaths and on new moons and on the appointed feasts of the LORD our God, this being required forever in Israel.

  • build (KJV): 2Ch 2:1 1Ki 8:18 
  • to dedicate (KJV): 1Ki 8:63 
  • to burn (KJV): Ex 30:7 
  • sweet incense (KJV): Heb. incense of spices
  • the continual (KJV): Ex 25:30 Lev 24:5-9 
  • the burnt (KJV): Ex 29:38-42 Nu 28:3,4,9-11 
  • the solemn feasts (KJV): Lev 23:1-17 Nu 28:1-29:40 

Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, dedicating it to Him, to burn fragrant incense before Him and to set out the showbread continually, and to offer burnt offerings morning and evening, on sabbaths and on new moons and on the appointed feasts of the LORD our God, this being required forever in Israel.

Utley - This verse lists many of the aspects of tabernacle worship.

  • incense ‒ Exod. 30:1-7
  • showbread ‒ Exod. 25:30; 40:23; Lev. 24:5-9
  • burnt offerings each morning and evening (the continual) ‒ Exod. 29:38-42; Num. 28:3-31; 29:6-30
  • offerings on the sabbaths ‒ Num. 28:9,10; 1 Chr. 23:31
  • offerings on the new moon ‒ Num. 28:11-15; 1 Chr. 23:3
  • the appointed feasts ‒ Exod. 23:14-17; 34:22-24; Leviticus 23; Deut. 16:16; 1 Chr. 23:31 All of these were meant to be permanent.


2 Chronicles 2:5 “The house which I am about to build will be great, for greater is our God than all the gods.

  • great (KJV): 2Ch 2:9 1Ki 9:8 1Ch 29:1 Eze 7:20 
  • great is our God (KJV): Ex 15:11 1Ch 16:25 Ps 86:8,9 135:5 145:3 Jer 10:6 1Ti 6:15 


The house which I am about to build will be great, for greater is our God than all the gods - Of course He is greater because the other "gods" are not really gods! There is only one God! Solomon makes it clear that the temple was not to be a monument to his father David, but to the great God. 

Martin Selman: We don’t know what Hiram’s religious beliefs were. It could be that some traces of the knowledge of YHWH had been preserved in Phoenicia. Solomon may have tried to insert some “evangelism” in his message to Hiram. That would account for the mention of some of the sacrifices and celebration of certain special days. Also the reference to YHWH as being “greater than all other gods” would fit that idea.

2 Chronicles 2:6 “But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him?

  • But who (KJV): 2Ch 6:18 1Ki 8:27 Isa 66:1 Ac 7:48,49 
  • is able (KJV): Heb. hath returned, or obtained strength
  • who am I then (KJV): 2Ch 1:10 Ex 3:11 2Sa 7:18 1Ch 29:14 2Co 2:16 Eph 3:8 
  • save only (KJV): De 12:5,6,11,14,26 


But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him? - Solomon's attitude of humility is a good pattern for all of us who are involved in the work of the Lord (and that is ALL of us dear follower of Christ). One is reminded of Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 2:16+ "to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other (those who believe the Gospel) an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?" Paul goes on to answer in 2Co 3:5-6+ some my favorite verses "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, Who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 

THOUGHT - Dearly beloved, first remember we are all (or should all be) involved actively in ministry for the LORD (1Pe 4:10-11+ where "employ" is in the present tense calling for this to our continual practice!), now not so much building His Temple (albeit we are His Temple and should be keeping it holy - 1Co 6:19-20+, 2Co 6:18-7:1+, 1Pe 1:14-17+) but His Kingdom which will soon come to fulfillment when the King returns. Are you involved in this grand "building project?" If so your wages will be paid when the King returns and they are wages that will endure eternally! Second, remember that His "good works" (Eph 2:10+, Mt 5:16+) must be carried in the power of His Spirit (Zech 4:6, Jn 6:63+) to be of eternal value (cf Jn 15:16 - " your fruit would remain"). 

Believer's Study Bible Note - The distinction between Israel's God and the gods of the surrounding ethnic nations is nowhere more clearly delineated than in Solomon's confession that however grand and magnificent his temple might be, the immensity of God utterly dwarfed the temple. Yahweh, like other gods, would have a temple. Unlike other deities worshipped by the nations, Yahweh transcended His temple. Solomon's theology demonstrates advancement far beyond that of Israel's neighbors when he declares that even the highest heaven cannot contain God. Solomon had been shown the truth of God's omnipresence.

Morgan - Solomon "never conceived it as a place to which God would be confined. He did expect, and he received, manifestations of the Presence of God in that house. Its chief value was that it afforded man a place in which he should offer incense; that is, the symbol of adoration, praise, worship, to God."

John Trapp - God is, “good without quality, great without quantity, everlasting without time, present everywhere without place, containing all without extent … he is within all things, and contained of nothing: without all things, and sustained of nothing.” 

Ryrie Study Bible - With great humility Solomon realized that the omnipresent God could not be confined to a Temple, but rather that the Temple served as a place in which His people could worship Him. 

G Campbell Morgan - 2 Chr 2.6.
\These words occur in the record of the appeal which Solomon sent to Hiram the King of Tyre for a skilled worker, and for timber. They afford evidence of the greatness and truth of Solomon's conception of God, as the words immediately following show; "seeing heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him." Yet he was about to build a house for God. He declared its value as he understood it, "only to burn incense before Him." Solomon was under no delusion about God, and therefore made no mistake about the Temple. He never conceived of it as a place to which God would be confined. He did expect, and he received, manifestations of the Presenceof God in that house. Its chief value was that it afforded man a place in which he should offer incense; that is, the symbol of adoration, praise, worship, to God. This was always so. When Jesus said to the woman of Samaria: "The hour cometh, when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father," He referred to a false centre, Mount Gerizim, and a true one, Jerusalem, and declared that neither was necessary for worship. In saying this, He was not referring merely to the new privileges to be created by His work. This is seen in what He added: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth." Temples, buildings, set apart, have always had, and still have, their place and value; but they never were, nor are they yet, the only places where God may be worshipped.

INCENSE [ISBE] - in'-sens (qeTorah; in Jer 44:21, qiTTer; in Mal 1:11, qaTar, "In every place incense shall be offered unto my name"; the word lebhonah, translated "incense" in several passages in Isa and Jer in the King James Version, is properly "frankincense," and is so rendered in the Revised Version (British and American)): The offering of incense, or burning of aromatic substances, is common in the religious ceremonies of nearly all nations (Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, etc.), and it is natural to find it holding a prominent place in the tabernacle and temple-worship of Israel. The newer critical theory that incense was a late importation into the religion of Israel, and that the altar of incense described in Ex 30:1 ff is a post-exilian invention, rests on presuppositions which are not here admitted, and is in contradiction to the express notices of the altar of incense in 1 Ki 6:20,22; 7:48; 9:25; compare 2 Ch 4:19 (see discussion of the subject by Delitzsch in Luthardt's Zeitschrift, 1880, 113 ff). In the denunciation of Eli in 1 Sam 2:27 ff, the burning of incense is mentioned as one of the functions of the priesthood (2:28). The "smoke" that filled the temple in Isaiah's vision (Isa 6:4) may be presumed to be the smoke of incense. The word keTorah itself properly denotes. "smoke." For the altar of incense see the article on that subject, and TABERNACLE and TEMPLE. The incense used in the tabernacle service--called "sweet incense" (keToreth ha-cammim, Ex 25:6, etc.)--was compounded according to a definite prescription of the perfumes, stacte, onycha, galbanum and pure frankincense (Ex 30:34 f), and incense not so compounded was rejected as "strange incense" (keTorah zarah, Ex 30:9). In the offering of incense, burning coals from the altar of burnt offering were borne in a censer and put upon the altar of incense (the "golden altar" before the oracle), then the fragrant incense was sprinkled on the fire (compare Lk 1:9 f). Ample details of the rabbinical rules about incense may be seen in the article "Incense," in DB.


Figuratively, incense was symbolical of ascending prayer. The multitude were praying while Zacharias offered incense (Lk 1:10, thumiama), and in Rev 5:8; 8:3 f, the incense in the heavenly temple is connected and even identified (5:8) with "the prayers of the saints." James Orr

2 Chronicles 2:7 “Now send me a skilled man to work in gold, silver, brass and iron, and in purple, crimson and violet fabrics, and who knows how to make engravings, to work with the skilled men whom I have in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided.

  • cunning (KJV): Ex 31:3-5 1Ki 7:14 Isa 28:26,29 60:10 
  • to grave (KJV): Heb. to grave gravings
  • whom David (KJV): 1Ch 22:15,16 


Now send me a skilled man to work in gold, silver, brass and iron, and in purple, crimson and violet fabrics, and who knows how to make engravings, to work with the skilled men whom I have in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided.

Payne: Despite a growing number of ‘skilled craftsmen’ in Israel, their techniques remained inferior to those of their northern neighbors, as is demonstrated archaeologically by less finely cut building stones and by the lower level of Israelite culture in general.

2 Chronicles 2:8 “Send me also cedar, cypress and algum timber from Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut timber of Lebanon; and indeed my servants will work with your servants,

  • Send me also (KJV): 1Ki 5:6 
  • algum trees 1Ki 10:11


Send me also cedar, cypress and algum timber from Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut timber of Lebanon; and indeed my servants will work with your servants,

August Konkel: From Egypt to Mesopotamia, Lebanon was renowned for its huge cedar trees, which could reach a height of 100 feet (30 meters). The pine tree may be a collective name for several types of fir. Algum wood is not precisely identified; it was used to make supports for the temple (possibly pillars or balustrades) and musical instruments. This was imported by the Phoenicians and perhaps further processed there

Bob Utley - There are several trees mentioned as prized lumber found in Lebanon -- cedar ‒ 1 Kgs. 5:8,10; 6:9,10,15,16,18,20,36; 7:2,3,7,11,12; 9:11; 1 Chr. 14:1; 17:1,6; 22:4; see CEDAR - USB, Fauna and Flora of the Bible, p. 108 cypress ‒ see CYPRUS - UBS, Fauna and Flora of the Bible, pp. 115-116algum  ‒ 2 Chr. 2:8; 9:10-11; 1 Kgs. 10:11; see ALGUM in UBS, Fauna and Flora of the Bible, p. 88; some call it "sandal-wood"; it was used for temple furniture and musical instruments. The UBS says, "There is great confusion in all versions, ancient and modern, over the identity of evergreens in the Bible" p. 116. All of these woods were beautiful to the sight, easy to work with, long lasting, the timber of choice for temples and palaces. From 1Ch 22:4, it becomes apparent that much of the material for the temple was stockpiled during David's reign.

Utley on know how to cut -This VERB (Qal ACTIVE PARTICIPLE) is used in two senses. (1) Here (2Ch 2:8), of master craftsmen who harvested, transported, and formed lumber, cf. Ps. 144:12 and (2) of slave laborers who prepared and hauled firewood for Israel, cf. Deut. 29:11; Josh. 9:21,23,27. 

Almug [EBD] (1 Kings 10:11, 12) = algum (2 Chr. 2:8; 9:10, 11), in the Hebrew occurring only in the plural almuggim (indicating that the wood was brought in planks), the name of a wood brought from Ophir to be used in the building of the temple, and for other purposes. Some suppose it to have been the white sandal-wood of India, the Santalum album of botanists, a native of the mountainous parts of the Malabar coasts. It is a fragrant wood, and is used in China for incense in idol-worship. Others, with some probability, think that it was the Indian red sandal-wood, the pterocarpus santalinus, a heavy, fine-grained wood, the Sanscrit name of which is valguka. It is found on the Coromandel coast and in Ceylon.

Cedar [EBD] (Heb. e'rez, Gr. kedros, Lat. cedrus), a tree very frequently mentioned in Scripture. It was stately (Ezek. 31:3-5), long-branched (Ps. 80:10; 92:12; Ezek. 31:6-9), odoriferous (Cant. 4:11; Hos. 14:6), durable, and therefore much used for boards, pillars, and ceilings (1 Kings 6:9, 10; 7:2; Jer. 22:14), for masts (Ezek. 27:5), and for carved images (Isa. 44:14). It grew very abundantly in Palestine, and particularly on Lebanon, of which it was "the glory" (Isa. 35:2; 60:13). Hiram supplied Solomon with cedar trees from Lebanon for various purposes connected with the construction of the temple and the king's palace (2 Sam. 5:11; 7:2, 7; 1 Kings 5:6, 8,10; 6:9, 10, 15, 16, 18, 20; 7:2, 3, 7, 11, 12; 9:11, etc.). Cedars were used also in the building of the second temple under Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:7). Of the ancient cedars of Lebanon there remain now only some seven or eight. They are not standing together. But beside them there are found between three hundred and four hundred of younger growth. They stand in an amphitheatre fronting the west, about 6,400 feet above the level of the sea.

The cedar is often figuratively alluded to in the sacred Scriptures. "The mighty conquerors of olden days, the despots of Assyria and the Pharaohs of Egypt, the proud and idolatrous monarchs of Judah, the Hebrew commonwealth itself, the war-like Ammonites of patriarchal times, and the moral majesty of the Messianic age, are all compared to the towering cedar, in its royal loftiness and supremacy (Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 17:3, 22, 23, 31:3-9; Amos 2:9; Zech. 11:1, 2; Job 40:17; Ps. 29:5; 80:10; 92:12, etc).", Groser's Scrip. Nat. Hist. (See BOX-TREE »636.)

2 Chronicles 2:9 to prepare timber in abundance for me, for the house which I am about to build will be great and wonderful.

  • wonderful great (KJV): Heb. great and wonderful, 2Ch 2:5 7:21 1Ki 9:8 

to prepare timber in abundance for me, for the house which I am about to build will be great and wonderful.

Dilday - The Sidonians were noted as timber craftsmen in the ancient world, a fact substantiated on the famous Palmero Stone. Its inscription from 2200 B.C. tells us about timber-carrying ships that sailed from Byblos to Egypt about four hundred years previously. The skill of the Sidonians was expressed in their ability to pick the most suitable trees, know the right time to cut them, fell them with care, and then properly treat the logs.” 

2 Chronicles 2:10 “Now behold, I will give to your servants, the woodsmen who cut the timber, 20,000 kors of crushed wheat and 20,000 kors of barley, and 20,000 baths of wine and 20,000 baths of oil.”

  • I will give (KJV): 1Ki 5:11 Lu 10:7 Ro 13:7,8 
  • baths of wine (KJV): 1Ki 7:26,38 Ezr 7:22 


Now behold, I will give to your servants, the woodsmen who cut the timber, 20,000 kors of crushed wheat and 20,000 kors of barley, and 20,000 baths of wine and 20,000 baths of oil - A KOR was a unit of dry measure equivalent to about 6 bushels (~ 220 liters).That's a "truckload" (as they say) of wheat and barley for the citizens of Tyre! And as far as wine and oil, there was enough for all the citizens of Tyre to take a "bath" (pun intended), because a bath was ~ 6 gallons (~ 22 liters) or 120,000 gallons (440,000 L.) That's a lot of wine and oil! 

Raymond Dillard: Tyre may have been rich in trade but apparently needed substantial imports to feed her population. The cor is a unit of dry measure, slightly above six bushels, for a total of 125,000 bushels each of wheat and barley. The bath is a unit of liquid measure, approximately six gallons, though the precise standard for these measures at a given time and locality is not known with confidence.

Believer's Study Bible - (2Ch 2:10,11) Solomon was prepared to pay King Hiram's woodsmen with 20,000 "baths" of oil, among other items. The parallel account (1 Kin. 5:11) is not contradictory but indicates that he presented to Hiram's household an additional amount of 20 "kors" of pressed oil as food for his household (see chart, "Monies, Weights, and Measures," Matt. 18:24). The continuing helpful and happy relationship between Hiram of Tyre and Israel is witnessed by Hiram's letter (vv. 11-16), in which the king of Tyre revealed considerable insight into the faith of Israel.


BATH - (bath): A liquid measure equal to about 9 gallons, English measure. It seems to have been regarded as a standard for liquid measures (Ezek 45:10), as in the case of the molten sea and the lavers in Solomon's temple (1 Ki 7:26,38), and for measuring oil and wine (2 Ch 2:10; Ezr 7:22; Isa 5:10; Ezek 45:14). Its relation to the homer is given in Ezek 45:11,14).

2 Chronicles 2:11 Then Huram, king of Tyre, answered in a letter sent to Solomon: “Because the LORD loves His people, He has made you king over them.”

  • Because (KJV): 2Ch 9:8 De 7:7,8 1Ki 10:9 Ps 72:17 


Then Huram, king of Tyre, answered in a letter sent to Solomon: “Because the LORD loves His people, He has made you king over them.” - Huram is a variant used for the name Hiram meaning “brother of the exalted.” Huram's theology is not bad here and even gets better in verse 12 where he acknowledged God as Creator. 

Adam Clarke comments that "“We find … that kings could write and read in what were called the by the proud and insolent Greeks and Romans barbarous nations. Nearly two thousand years after this we find a king on the British throne who could not sign his own name.”

Thomas Constable: Huram's reply (2Ch 2:11-16) shows that in Solomon's day, Israel was drawing Gentile nations to Yahweh. This was part of God's purpose for Israel and was something that the ideal Son of David would accomplish (cf. Exod. 19:5-6; Hag. 2:7; Zech. 8:22-23).

RON DANIEL - 2:11-16 Huram's Response The deal sounded good to Hiram. He agreed to send Khoo-RAWM Awb-EE, who was half Jewish and half Tyrian. He would be able to both perform the work and supervise others.

Matthew Henry Notes: Verses: 2Chr 2:11-18

Here we have,

I. The return which Huram made to Solomon's embassy, in which he shows a great respect for Solomon and a readiness to serve him. Meaner people may learn of these great ones to be neighbourly and complaisant.

1. He congratulates Israel on having such a king as Solomon was (2Chr 2:11):

Because the Lord loved his people, he has made thee king. Note, A wise and good government is a great blessing to a people, and may well be accounted a singular token of God's favour. He does not say, Because he loved thee (though that was true, 2 Sa. 12:24) he made thee king, but because he loved his people. Princes must look upon themselves as preferred for the public good, not for their own personal satisfaction, and should rule so as to prove that they were given in love and not in anger.

2. He blesses God for raising up such a successor to David, 2Chr 2:12.

It should seem that Huram was not only very well affected to the Jewish nation, and well pleased with their prosperity, but that he was proselyted to the Jewish religion, and worshipped Jehovah, the God of Israel (who was now known by that name to the neighbouring nations), as the God that made heaven and earth, and as the fountain of power as well as being; for he sets up kings. Now that the people of Israel kept close to the law and worship of God, and so preserved their honour, the neighbouring nations were as willing to be instructed by them in the true religion as Israel had been, in the days of their apostasy, to be infected with the idolatries and superstitions of their neighbours. This made them high, that they lent to many nations and did not borrow, lent truth to them, and did not borrow error from them; as when they did the contrary it was their shame.

3. He sent him a very ingenious curious workman, that would not fail to answer his expectations in every thing, one that had both Jewish and Gentile blood meeting in him; for his mother was an Israelite (Huram though she was of the tribe of Dan, and therefore says so here, 2Chr 2:14, but it seems she was of the tribe of Naphtali, 1 Ki. 7:14), but his father was a Tyrian-a good omen of uniting Jew and Gentile in the gospel temple, as it was afterwards when the building of the second temple was greatly furthered by Darius (Ezra 6), who is supposed to have been the son of Esther-an Israelite by the mother's side.

4. He engaged for the timber, as much as he would have occasion for, and undertook to deliver it at Joppa, and withal signified his dependence upon Solomon for the maintenance of the workmen as he had promised,2Chr 2:15, 16. This agreement we had, 1 Ki. 5:8, 9.

II. The orders which Solomon gave about the workmen.

He would not employ the free-born Israelites in the drudgery work of the temple itself, not so much as to be overseers of it. In this he employed the strangers who were proselyted to the Jewish religion, who had not lands of inheritance in Canaan as the Israelites had, and therefore applied to trades, and got their living by their ingenuity and industry. There were, at this time, vast numbers of them in the land (2Chr 2:17), who, if they were of any of the devoted nations, perhaps fell within the case, and therefore fell under the law, of the Gibeonites, to be hewers of wood for the congregation: if not, yet being in many respects well provided for by the law of Moses, and put upon an equal footing with the native Israelites, they were bound in gratitude to do what they could for the service of the temple. Yet, no doubt, they were well paid in money or money's worth: the law was, Thou shalt not oppress a stranger. The distribution of them we have here (2Chr 2:2, and again 2Chr 2:18), in all 150,000. Canaan was a fruitful land, that found meat for so many mouths more than the numerous natives; and the temple was a vast building, that found work for so many bands. Mr. Fuller suggests that the expedient peculiar to this structure, of framing all beforehand, must needs increase the work. I think it rather left so much the more room for this vast multitude of hands to be employed in it; for in the forest of Lebanon they might all be at work together, without crowding one another, which they could not have been upon Mount Sion. And, if there had not been such vast numbers employed, so large and curious a fabric, which was begun and ended in seven years, might, for aught I know, have been as long in building as St. Paul's.

F B Meyer - 2 Chronicles 2:11   Because the Lord loveth His people, He hath made thee King over them. (R. V.)

How truly might these words be addressed to our blessed Lord! Because God loved the world, He gave His only-begotten Son, His well-beloved, to be both Prince and Savior. And it is in knowing, loving, and serving Him that we can realize our Supreme blessedness.

God’s loving appointment in making Jesus King will be apparent when we remember how beautiful He is in His personal character; how closely He is identified with our nature; the might of His arm with which He shields, the patience wherewith He bears, the redemption which He has wrought out and brought in for all who believe. What could God’s love have done better to approve itself?

Is He your King? Never till He is so, will you know the fullness of God’s love. Those who question or refuse His authority are always in doubt about the love of God to themselves and to the world. Those, on the other hand, who acknowledge His claims, and crown Him as King, suddenly find themselves admitted to a standpoint of vision in which doubts and disputations vanish, and the secret love of God is unfolded. Then they experience the wise and gentle tendance of the Divine love in its most entrancing characteristics. All is love where Jesus reigns.

Nothing is more indicative of God’s benevolence than His incessant appeal to men to make Jesus King. The demand may sometimes involve severe agony and suffering for those who have acknowledged other lords too long; but God persists in His demand, because only in serving Jesus can the human heart be truly blessed.

 Go, spread your trophies at His feet, 
 And crown Him Lord of all!

C H Spurgeon - Sermon Notes -  2 Chron. 2:11—“Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the Lord hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.”

Such was the character of Solomon, that even Huram could see that he was a blessing to the people over whom he ruled. Be it ours to bless others, whatever our station may be. May it be observed concerning us that, because the Lord loved the family he made us heads of it, friends to it, or servants in it; and so forth. Even a heathen could trace great blessings to God’s love; what heathens those are who do not speak of the Lord’s goodness, but talk of “chance” and “good luck”! It is a great blessing when communications between rulers savour of a pious courtesy, as these between Solomon and Huram. This verse may well be applied to our Lord Jesus. May the Holy Spirit bless our meditation thereon.

               1.      It is not, then, a burden to be under law to Christ: his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3.
               2.      Jesus did not need us for subjects, but we needed to be under the rule and headship of Jesus. It is for our guidance, comfort, honour, growth, success, peace, and safety.
               3.      It brings us great happiness to obey our Prince. His laws are simply indications of where our felicity lies.
               4.      The personal character of our King is such that it is a great blessing to his subjects to have him as their Monarch.
         So wise: therefore able to judge and to direct.
         So powerful: therefore able to enrich and to defend.
         So gracious: therefore laying himself out to benefit us all.
         So holy: therefore elevating and purifying his people. In this Solomon failed, but Jesus succeeded.
               5.      His relationship to us makes it a great blessing to have him for our King. We are not under the tyranny of a stranger; but to us is fulfilled the word of the prophet,—“Their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them”: Jer. 30:21.
         The Lord Jesus is, to all of us who are believers—
           Our Brother. Therefore it is no bondage to follow him.
           Our Redeemer. Therefore it is joy to own his property in us.
           Our Husband. Who would not do the bidding of one so loving?
         It is a delight to obey him in all things who has blessed us in all things.

               1.      We see this in the choice which the Lord has made of us.
         We were like Israel—
         Insignificant in rank, power, or wisdom.
         Erring, and continually apt to revolt from our King.
         Poor, and therefore unable to pay him any great revenue.
         Feeble, and therefore no help to him in his grand designs.
         Fickle, and consequently a wretched people to rule and lead.
               2.      We see this in his subduing us.
         We began with rebellion, but our Prince conquered us, and brought us under happy subjection because of his great love.
               3.      We see this in the healthy order he maintains. It is good for us to be under so wise a rule. Love gives rebels a powerful, gracious, and forbearing ruler. A firm hand and a loving heart will tame the unruly, and be a boon to them.
               4.      We see this in the peace which he creates: the quiet within and without: in the heart and in the church. 1 Kings 4:24.
               5.      We see this in the plenty which he scatters. “And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycamore trees that are in the vale for abundance”: 2 Chron. 1:15. Far greater are the riches of grace which the reign of Jesus brings to us.
               6.      We see this in the honour he puts upon us, making us all to be kings and priests with him. Rev. 1:5, 6.

               1.      It makes his courts our delight.
               2.      It makes his service our recreation.
               3.      It makes his revenue our riches.
               4.      It makes his glory our honour.
               5.      It makes his cross our crown.
               6.      It makes himself our heaven.
         Lord, bless thy people, by keeping them loyal and obedient.
         Lord, bless rebellious ones, by bringing them to bow before so gracious and wise a Prince.
         Lord, we now bless thee for exalting Jesus, to be a Prince and a Saviour to us. May his Spirit rest upon us!

TYRE [ISBE]- tir (tsowr. tsor, "rock"' Turos, "Tyrus"; modern Sur):

1. Physical Features: The most noted of the Phoenician cities situated on the coast, lat. 33ø 17 minutes, about 20 miles South of Sidon and about 35 North of Carmel. The date of its foundation is uncertain, but it was later than that of Sidon. It is mentioned in the travels of the Egyptian Mohar, dating probably from the 14th century BC, and in the Tell el-Amarna Letters of about the same period. Herodotus describes the temple of Hercules at Tyre and says it was built 2,300 years before his time, which would carry back the beginning of the city to more than 2700 BC. It was a double city, one part on an island, a short distance from the shore, and the other on the mainland opposite. The island city had two harbors, connected by a canal, one looking North and the other South. The island was rocky and the city was fortitled on the land side by a wall 150 ft. high, the wall being of less elevation on the other sides. It was an exceedingly strong position, and is referred to in the Bible as the "strong" or "fortitled" city (Josh 19:29). The space within the walls was crowded with buildings, and is said to have contained 40,000 inhabitants. The town on the mainland was situated in a plain extending from the Ras el-`Abyad, on the South to Sarepta on the North, a distance of about 20 miles. It was fertile and well watered, the river Leontes (Litany) passing through it to the sea, about 5 miles N. of Tyre, and the copious fountain of Ras el-`Ain, 3 miles to the South, furnishing an abundant supply both for the city and the gardens.

2. History: (1) Tyre was for centuries subordinate to Sidon, but when the Philistines subdued the latter city, probably in the 12th century. (see SIDON), Tyre received an accession of inhabitants from the fugitives which gave it the pre-eminence. From this time dates its great commercial and colonial activity. Its mariners pushed boldly out to the West and founded colonies in Spain and North Africa, some of which, like Gades, Abdera and Carthage, became famous. They extended their commerce more widely than Sidon had ever done and ventured into the Atlantic and reached the coasts of Britain and West Africa. They reached out to the East also, and had their ships in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, and their land routes threaded all Western Asia (see PHOENICIA). Tyre, like all the Phoenician cities, became subject to Egypt under Thothmes III in the first half of the 15th century BC, and remained so for some 300 years, but it enjoyed practical autonomy under native kings, being only subject to tribute and to furnishing contingents of ships when the Egyptian kings made their expeditions to the North. In the Tell el-Amarna Letters, dating from the first half of the 14th century, we find a certain Abi-melek (or Abi-milki) writing from Tyre to the king of Egypt asking for aid against the Amorite leader, Aziru, and the king of Sidon, who had joined the rebels. The name is Phoenician, and we know that it was the policy of the Egyptian kings to leave the native dynasts on the throne.

(2) After the decline of Egypt, Tyre regained her independence and exercised the hegemony over most of the Phoenician towns, at least as far North as Gebal (Byblus), as appears in the control that Hiram had over the Lebanon forests in the time of David and Solomon. Hiram was evidently desirous of an alliance with Israel, since he sent messengers to David and furnished cedar and workmen to build him a house, apparently without solicitation. The friendly connection between the two kingdoms was advantageous to both, since David and Solomon needed the timber and the skilled artisans that Hiram could furnish, and Hiram needed the food products of the land of Israel (1 Ki 5). Tyre was at this time noted for the skill of its artificers, and its manufactured products were famous throughout the world (see PHOENICIA, 4). The purple dye and works in bronze were especially famous, and Hiram, the Tyrian artisan, was engaged by Solomon to cast the bronzes required for the temple (1 Ki 7:13 ff). Hiram, the king, enlarged and beautified his capital. He united the two small islands on which the city was built by filling up the space between, where he made an open square and built a splendid temple to Melkarth and Astarte. He engaged in commercial enterprises with Solomon (1 Ki 9:26-28; 10:22), both in pursuance of the friendly alliance and also for the advantage of having the use of the port of Ezion-geber on the Red Sea. His brilliant reign lasted 43 years.

(3) The list of kings who succeeded him contains the names of Baal-azar, Abd-ashtoreth, murdered by his brothers, the eldest of whom succeeded him, followed by Astartus and Aserymus murdered by his brother, Pheles, who was overthrown by the high priest Eth-baal, showing how disturbed the period was. Eth-baal, or Ithobal, was the king who made an alliance with Ahab and gave him Jezebel, his daughter, in marriage, which proved most disastrous both to her and the country because of the introduction of the Baal-worship into Israel. Eth-baal was an energetic monarch, and is said to have rounded Botrys (Batrun). He reigned 32 years, and was followed by Badezor and Mattan, who gave his daughter, Elissa (Dido), in marriage to her uncle Sicharbas and transferred the throne to them; but they were set aside by an uprising of the people, and Pygmalion, son of Mattan, was placed on the throne, and Sicharbas put to death. Elissa fled with a party of nobles, by sea, to Africa and founded the city of Carthage. This happened about the middle of the 9th century BC, Josephus putting it at 860 BC.

(4) In the first half of this century Tyre became subject to Assyria, and her hegemony in Phoenicia came to an end, but her prosperity was not seriously checked as we may infer from Isa 23:8, which was written a century or so later. Assyria was satisfied with the payment of tribute until the time of Tiglath-pileser III (745-727), who laid a heavier hand upon her, and this led Elulaeus, king of Tyre, to form a confederacy of the Phoenician cities against Assyria. Shalmaneser IV subdued all except Tyre, which he distressed by cutting off her water-supply. But the people dug wells and obtained enough to subsist upon for five years, when Shalmaneser was killed and Elulaeus recovered control of his territory. He was not molested by Sargon, but Sennacherib advanced against him with 200,000 men, and Elulaeus fled to Cyprus. The citizens made a successful resistance and Sennacherib did not take Tyre, but it submitted to Esar-haddon, and its king, Baal, obtained the special favor of the Assyrian king, who made him ruler of all the coast cities from Dor to Gebal, and the Lebanon was placed under his control (680-673 BC). It is rather surprising that Baal refused to assist him in his attack upon Egypt and that Esar-haddon did not punish him, probably because he was too much occupied with Egypt. Ashur-banipal, however, did compel him to submit and to give him his daughter, and those of his brothers, as secondary wives, but left him as king of Tyre.

(5) On the decline of Assyria, Tyre regained its independence, and its greatness is indicated by the fact that it resisted Nebuchadnezzar 13 years (598-585); it is uncertain whether the island city was taken, but it evidently came to terms with the king of Babylon (compare Ezek 27:26; Josephus, Ant, X, xi, 1 and see The Expository Times, 1899, pp. 378, 430, 475, 520). After this siege Sidon took the lead and Tyre was in a disturbed state: the monarchy was overthrown and suffetes, or judges, took its place for six years, when the old order was restored. The decline of Babylon enabled Tyre to regain her independence for a short period until its submission to the Persians about 525 BC, and thenceforth it was a vassal state during the continuance of the Persian empire.

(6) It was by no means hindered in its commercial prosperity, and its great strength is seen in the brave and energetic resistance it made to Alexander the Great. All Phoenicia submitted to him without resistance, and Tyre was willing to admit his suzerainty, but declined to receive him into the city. This so angered Alexander that he at once commenced a siege that proved the most difficult undertaking in all his wars. He had no fleet and was obliged to build a mole (causeway) from the mainland to the island, but before he could finish it the Tyrians destroyed it and beat back their assailants handily. Alexander had to do the work all over again, and since he was convinced that without a fleet he would not be able to take the city, he procured ships from the Phoenician towns that had submitted, and with the aid of these was able to blockade the port and prevent the besieged from issuing forth to destroy the new causeway. This was at length pushed up to the very wall of the city, which was finally breached, and the troops of Alexander forced their way in. But even then the defenders would not yield, and the king himself had to lead the assault upon them with his bodyguard and put them all to the sword. Those who died with arms in their hands were 8,000, and the survivors, women, children and slaves, to the number of 30,000, were sold in the open market. He placed over the ruined city, into which he introduced some colonists, a certain Abd-elonim, and left it after having spent about seven months in subduing it.

(7) After the death of Alexander, Tyre passed into the hands of Ptolemy Lagi, and when Antigonus, in 314 BC, took Phoenicia from him, Tyre resisted, and he had to blockade it 15 months before it would yield, showing how quickly it had recovered from its previous disaster. It became a part of the Seleucid kingdom when Antiochus III drove the Ptolemies from Syria (198 BC), and the Seleucid kings regarded it of importance and gave it the right of asylum, and it was allowed the status of a free city by the Romans, Antony recognizing the magistrates and council of Tyre as allies. When the Parthians attacked and took Syria, in 40 BC, Tyre would not submit and was left untouched, being too strong for them. Augustus deprived it of its freedom, but it was given the status of a "metropolis" by Hadrian, and this title appears on its coins.

(8) Tyre is mentioned in the New Testament several times: Christ visited its territory (Mt 15:21; Mk 7:24), and people from there came to hear Him (Lk 6:17). Herod Agrippa I had trouble with Tyre, and a deputation came to visit him at Caesarea (Acts 12:20). Paul visited Tyre on his journey from Asia to Jerusalem (Acts 21:6-7). Christianity was accepted by the people of Tyre, so that the 2nd century AD saw a bishopric established there, and in the 4th a council was held there to consider charges against Athanasius, by the party of Arius; he was condemned, a decision which brought the Tyrian church into disrepute. Tyre was already obnoxious to Christians because the anti-Christian philosopher Porphyry was from there. Tyre continued a commercial center, and Jerome says that it was the noblest and most beautiful of the Phoenician cities and an emporium of commerce for almost the whole world (Commentary on Ezekiel). It was of considerable importance in the Crusades and continued so until toward the end of the 13th century, when its trade declined, and it has now dwindled to a town of some 5,000 inhabitants. For "literature" see PHOENICIA. H. Porter


2 Chronicles 2:12 Then Huram continued, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has made heaven and earth, who has given King David a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, who will build a house for the LORD and a royal palace for himself. 

  • Huram (KJV): 1Ki 5:7 1Ch 29:20 Ps 72:18,19 Lu 1:68 1Pe 1:3 
  • that made heaven (KJV): Ge 1:1-2:25 Ps 33:6 102:5 124:8 136:5,6 146:5,6 Jer 10:10 Ac 4:24 14:15 Col 1:16,17 Rev 4:11 10:6 
  • endued (KJV): etc. Heb. knowing prudence and understanding, 2Ch 1:10-12 
  • an house (KJV): 2Ch 2:1 


Then Huram continued, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, Who has made heaven and earth - This is an amazing statement by this apparent pagan! He knows more about creation than the most brilliant evolutionists! Was Hiram a believer in Yahweh? This may be one of those surprises we will see in heaven! 

Who has given King David a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, who will build a house for the LORD and a royal palace for himself - Twice in this verse Hiram calls Him LORD (Jehovah)! 

Bob Utley - Huram/Hiram seems to be a follower of YHWH. He cooperated with David and Solomon. He was not threatened by their power, wealth, and proximity. He acknowledges YHWH's character and plan for Israel. He blesses the God of creation. He sends his choice materials and workmen (i.e., Israel's temple has much in common with Tyrian temples of the day). See Josephus' comments in Antiquities 8.2.6-9. (SEE JOSEPHUS' ENTRY BELOW)

6. Moreover Hiram, King of Tyre, when he had heard that Solomon succeeded to his father’s Kingdom, was very glad of it: for he was a friend of David’s. So he sent ambassadors to him, and saluted him, and congratulated him on the present happy state of his affairs. Upon which Solomon sent him an epistle, the contents of which here follow. (7)

Solomon to King Hiram.

Know thou that my father would have built a temple to God; but was hindered by wars, and continual expeditions: for he did not leave off to overthrow his enemies, till he made them all subject to tribute. But I give thanks to God for the peace I at present enjoy: and on that account I am at leisure, and design to build an house to God. For God foretold to my father that such an house should he built by me. Wherefore I desire thee to send some of thy subjects with mine, to mount Lebanon, to cut down timber: for the Sidonians are more skilful than our people in cutting of wood. As for wages to the hewers of wood, I will pay whatsoever price thou shalt determine.

7. When Hiram had read this epistle, he was pleased with it; and wrote back this answer to Solomon.

King Hiram to King Solomon.

It is fit to bless God, that he hath committed thy father’s government to thee; who art a wise man, and endowed with all virtues. As for myself, I rejoice at the condition thou art in: and will be subservient to thee in all that thou sendest to me about. For when by my subjects I have cut down many and large trees of cedar, and cypress wood, I will send them to sea; and will order my subjects to make flotes of them, and to sail to what place soever of thy country thou shalt desire, and leave them there. After which thy subjects may carry them to Jerusalem. But do thou take care to procure us corn for this timber; which we stand in need of, because we inhabit in an island. (8)

8. The copies of these epistles remain at this day, and are preserved not only in our books, but among the Tyrians also: insomuch that if any one would know the certainty about them, he may desire of the keepers of the publick records of Tyre to shew him them, and he will find what is there set down to agree with what we have said. I have said so much out of a desire that my readers may know, that we speak nothing but the truth; and do not compose an history out of some plausible relations, which deceive men and please them at the same time; nor attempt to avoid examination; nor desire men to believe us immediately. Nor are we at liberty to depart from speaking truth, which is the proper commendation of an historian, and yet be blameless. But we insist upon no admission of what we say, unless we be able to manifest its truth by demonstration, and the strongest vouchers.

9. Now King Solomon, as soon as this epistle of the King of Tyre was brought him, commended the readiness and good will he declared therein: and repayed him in what he desired, and sent him yearly twenty thousand cori of wheat: and as many baths of oil. Now the bath is able to contain seventy two sextaries. He also sent him the same measure of wine. So the friendship between Hiram and Solomon hereby increased more and more: and they swore to continue it for ever. And the King appointed a tribute to be laid on all the people, of thirty thousand labourers; whose work he rendred easy to them by prudently dividing it among them. For he made ten thousand cut timber in mount Lebanon, for one month: and then to come home, and rest two months; until the time when the other twenty thousand had finished their task at the appointed time. And so afterward it came to pass, that the first ten thousand returned to their work every fourth month. And it was Adoram who was over this tribute. There were also of the strangers who were left by David, who were to carry the stones, and other materials, seventy thousand: and of those that cut the stones, eighty thousand. Of these three thousand and three hundred were rulers over the rest. He also enjoined them to cut out large stones for the foundations of the temple, and that they should fit them and unite them together in the mountain, and so bring them to the city. This was done not only by our own countrey workmen, but by those workmen whom Hiram sent also.

Come Share (2 Chron. 2) BORROW The 365 day devotional commentary
The women who ran our Backyard Bible Clubs were concerned. A number of the clubs were held in neighborhood homes where the moms weren’t Christians. Now some of those moms wanted to teach!

In some ways their doubts must have reflected Solomon’s as he wrote to Hiram, king of Tyre. Though Tyre had maintained friendly relationships with David, the two nations were of diverse race and religion. Yet Solomon’s letter not only offered to purchase lumber and hire workmen, but even requested a skilled metalworker to supervise his Hebrew artisans!

In effect Solomon invited Hiram to have a significant role in constructing a temple dedicated to Israel’s God! Two things are striking about this passage. Solomon went to a Gentile to help him build God’s temple. And that Gentile acknowledged God as no mere local deity, but the One “who made heaven and earth.”

Israel had an exclusive relationship with the Lord, rooted in the Abrahamic Covenant and confirmed in history by God’s acts on His people’s behalf. Yet Isaiah spoke frequently of a day when Gentiles will flock to God, called by the bright light of Israel’s Messiah (Isa. 11:10; 42:6; 49:6). The temple of Israel was to be a temple for all mankind. As Jeremiah 16:19 predicts:

  To You the nations will come
  from the ends of the earth and say,
  “Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods,
  worthless idols that did them no good.”

That day of universal salvation is foreshadowed in the fact that God permitted the Gentile Hiram of Tyre to contribute so much to the Jerusalem temple. And the conversion of the Gentiles is foreshadowed by Hiram’s recognition of God as Maker of heaven and earth.

Interestingly, the women who ran our Backyard Bible Clubs decided to make the hostesses “teacher’s helpers.” In that role several, like Hiram of old, came to know the Lord.

Personal Application
When others seem responsive to God, welcome them.

“Take care not to frighten away by stern rigor poor sinners who are trying to lay bare the shocking state of their souls. Speak to them rather of the great mercy of God, and make easy for them what is at best a difficult task. Be especially gentle with those who from weakness of age or sex have not the courage to confess the ugly things they have done. Tell them whatever they have to say will be no news to you. Sometimes people are helped by your telling them about your own lamentable past.”—Francis Xavier

2 Chronicles 2:13 “Now I am sending Huram-abi, a skilled man, endowed with understanding,

  • of Huram (KJV): 2Ch 4:16 

Related Passage:

2 Chronicles 4:16  The pails, the shovels, the forks and all its utensils, Huram-abi made of polished bronze for King Solomon for the house of the LORD.

1 Kings 7:13-14 Now King Solomon sent and brought Hiram (Huram-abi) from Tyre. 14 He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze; and he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill for doing any work in bronze. So he came to King Solomon and performed all his work. 


Now I am sending Huram-abi, a skilled man, endowed with understanding - Huram-abi is also called Hiram (1Ki 7:13-14) and is not to be confused with King Hiram of Tyre.  Huram-abi was gifted as a metal worker and cast the two pillars named Jachin and Boaz at the entrance of the Temple as well as the metal furnishings within the temple.

2 Chronicles 2:14 the son of a Danite woman and a Tyrian father, who knows how to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone and wood, and in purple, violet, linen and crimson fabrics, and who knows how to make all kinds of engravings and to execute any design which may be assigned to him, to work with your skilled men and with those of my lord David your father.

  • The son (KJV): 1Ki 7:13,14 
  • skilful (KJV): 2Ch 2:7 Ex 31:3,4

Related Passages:

1 Kings 7:13-14 Now King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre (NOT KING HIRAM - 1Ki 5:1). 14 He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze; and he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill for doing any work in bronze. So he came to King Solomon and performed all his work. 15 He fashioned the two pillars of bronze; (Jachin and Boaz) eighteen cubits was the height of one pillar, and a line of twelve cubits measured the circumference of both. 16 He also made two capitals of molten bronze to set on the tops of the pillars; the height of the one capital was five cubits and the height of the other capital was five cubits.

the son of a Danite woman and a Tyrian father, who knows how to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone and wood, and in purple, violet, linen and crimson fabrics, and who knows how to make all kinds of engravings and to execute any design which may be assigned to him, to work with your skilled men and with those of my lord David your father Huram (Hiram) of Tyre (NOT THE KING HIRAM) was a renowned copper worker who constructed the two pillars of the Temple, one "named...Jachin, and...the left pillar...named it Boaz." (1Ki 7:21) (See Jachin and Boaz) These pillars seem to have been freestanding, being described only as "before the temple" (2Ch 3:17). The pillars themselves were 27 feet in height and 12 feet in circumference, and were topped with ornamental capitals 5 cubits or 7-1/2 feet in height (making a total height of nearly 35 feet). "Boaz" means "in Him (God) is its strength," while "Jachin" may suggest "He will establish."

Bob Utley on Huram-abi's mother - from Naphtali or Dan? - He is called "Hiram" and his mother is from the tribe of Naphtali, not Dan. His father was from Tyre. Why the difference is uncertain. Possibly two different traditions or records. Unbelievers often point to differences like this to assert errors in the Bible. This kind of historical detail does not affect the theological issue of inspiration. 

Henry Morris explains the difference this way - This skilled artisan had perhaps been named after the Phoenician king (1 Kings 5:1). His mother had originally been from the tribe of Dan (2 Chronicles 2:14) whose first husband was of the tribe of Naphtali. When she became a widow she then married a Phoenician from Tyre, and Hiram was their son. He is called Huram in the paralleled account in 2 Chronicles 2:13.

F B Meyer -  His mother probably belonged to Dan (2 Chron. 2:14), and her first husband to Naphtali (1 Kings 7:14). 

Herbert Lockyer in All the Women of the Bible - page 198 (BORROW) has this entry - "Mother of Hiram (1 Kings 7:13-45; 2 Chronicles 2:13, 14; 4:11-16) Here is another instance of a renowned man whose name is known but whose parents are not mentioned by name in Scripture. This remarkably skilled craftsman who bore the same name as the king of Tyre, is also spoken of as Huram (2 Chronicles 4:11-16). We do know that Hiram who was "filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass," had a widowed mother who was of the tribe of Naphtali, and that his late father was "a man of Tyre, a worker in brass." But their names and genealogy are not given. Having a mixed parentage—Jewish mother, Tyrian father—enabled clever Hiram to enter into the spirit of Israelite worship, for which Solomon prepared the gorgeous Temple. Hiram brought to the Temple all the practical skill of a Tyrian artificer. Doubtless he received much of his skill in metal work from his unidentified father. While we have no record of any religious home life Hiram may have had, he must have heard from his mother all about David's dream to build a house for the Lord, and of Solomon's determination to fulfill his father's dream. Because of the magnificent work he produced for the Temple, it would seem as if the Spirit of God augmented Hiram's skill as He did in the labor of Bezaleel."

John Olley - Compared to the portrayal of Huram-abi in Kings, the Chronicler has added material connecting him closely to Oholiab, the master-craftsman who worked on the tabernacle. The list of Huram-abi’s skills in 2Ch 2:14 has been expanded to include Oholiab’s skills from Exodus 38:23, and whereas 1 Kings 7:14 notes that Huram-abi’s mother was from Naphtali, Chronicles traces his genealogy among the Danites, the tribe of Oholiab. (In 1 Kings, Huram-abi is called “Hiram”—not to be confused with the king by that name.) Given the mention of Bezalel in 2Ch 1:5, the Chronicler seems to be connecting Solomon and Huram-abi to the two artificers of the tabernacle, Bezalel and Oholiab. Why do you think establishing continuity between the tabernacle and the temple is so important to the Chronicler? What impact should this continuity have on Israel’s worship and faith?

2 Chronicles 2:15 “Now then, let my lord send to his servants wheat and barley, oil and wine, of which he has spoken.

  • which my lord (KJV): 2Ch 2:10 1Ki 5:11 


Now then, let my lord send to his servants wheat and barley, oil and wine, of which he has spoken - Solomon was not asking for a hand out from Hiram, but a business arrangement. Here Hiram gives items he desires to have in exchange for the timber, etc. 

2 Chronicles 2:16 “We will cut whatever timber you need from Lebanon and bring it to you on rafts by sea to Joppa, so that you may carry it up to Jerusalem.”  

  • we will cut (KJV): 1Ki 5:8,9 
  • as much as thou shalt need (KJV): Heb. according to all thy need, Joppa.  Heb. Japho. Jos 19:46 Ezr 3:7 Joh 1:3 Ac 9:36 10:32 

Looking toward Tel Aviv
from the ancient port of Joppa
(Parsons Bible Pictures)


We will cut whatever timber you need from Lebanon and bring it to you on rafts by sea to Joppa, so that you may carry it up to Jerusalem - Hiram's men would cut the timber and transport it to the seacoast town of Joppa (which was the only natural harbor on the Mediterranean coast of Canaan) from which Solomon's men would transport it overland about 35 miles to Jerusalem. How these huge logs would be transported overland is not stated, but most likely they were moved by oxcarts via the main road that led past the fortified city of Gezer and clearly the timber reached its destination! Joppa (modern Jaffa - see aerial view) was once the major port of Israel, but has been replaced by the booming city of Tel Aviv.

2 Chronicles 2:17 Solomon numbered all the aliens who were in the land of Israel, following the census which his father David had taken; and 153,600 were found.

EXB Solomon ·counted [numbered; took a census of] all the foreigners living in Israel. (This was after the time his father David had counted the people [2 Sam. 24; 1 Chr. 21].) There were one hundred fifty-three thousand six hundred foreigners.

  • numbered (KJV): 2Ch 2:2 2Ch 8:7-8 1Ki 5:13-16 1Ki 9:20-21 
  • the strangers (KJV): Heb. the men the strangers
  • after the numbering (KJV): 1Ch 22:2

Related Passages: 

2 Chronicles 8:7-9 All of the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, 8 namely, from their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel had not destroyed, them Solomon raised as forced laborers to this day. 9 But Solomon did not make slaves for his work from the sons of Israel; they were men of war, his chief captains and commanders of his chariots and his horsemen.

1 Kings 9:20-21 As for all the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of the sons of Israel, 21 their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel were unable to destroy utterly, from them Solomon levied forced laborers, even to this day.

Genesis 9:26  He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant (153,600 were found)

Solomon numbered all the aliens who were in the land of Israel, following the census which his father David had taken; and 153,600 were found - 2 Chronicles 2:2 says "So Solomon assigned 70,000 men to carry loads and 80,000 men to quarry stone in the mountains and 3,600 to supervise them." This adds up to 153, 600 non-Israelite workers for the Temple project. 

RON DANIEL - Aliens As Workers. As we read up in verse two, the workers and supervisors for these two projects totalled 153,600 men. As we see now, these were all of the aliens living in the land of Israel.

Defender's Study Bible all the strangers.  These "strangers" were evidently from the Canaanite tribes conquered by Joshua or later Israelite leaders and put to servitude, partially fulfilling the ancient Noahic prophecy (Genesis 9:26; 2 Chronicles 8:7-9). 

Numbering of the people [EBD]

Besides the numbering of the tribes mentioned in the history of the wanderings in the wilderness, we have an account of a general census of the whole nation from Dan to Beersheba, which David gave directions to Joab to make (1 Chr. 21:1). Joab very reluctantly began to carry out the king's command.

This act of David in ordering a numbering of the people arose from pride and a self-glorifying spirit. It indicated a reliance on his part on an arm of flesh, an estimating of his power not by the divine favour but by the material resources of his kingdom. He thought of military achievement and of conquest, and forgot that he was God's vicegerent. In all this he sinned against God. While Joab was engaged in the census, David's heart smote him, and he became deeply conscious of his fault; and in profound humiliation he confessed, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done." The prophet Gad was sent to him to put before him three dreadful alternatives (2 Sam. 24:13; for "seven years" in this verse, the LXX. and 1 Chr. 21:12 have "three years"), three of Jehovah's four sore judgments (Ezek. 14:21). Two of these David had already experienced. He had fled for some months before Absalom, and had suffered three years' famine on account of the slaughter of the Gibeonites. In his "strait" David said, "Let me fall into the hands of the Lord." A pestilence broke out among the people, and in three days swept away 70,000. At David's intercession the plague was stayed, and at the threshing-floor of Araunah (q.v.), where the destroying angel was arrested in his progress, David erected an altar, and there offered up sacrifices to God (2 Chr. 3:1).

The census, so far as completed, showed that there were at least 1,300,000 fighting men in the kingdom, indicating at that time a population of about six or seven millions in all. 

2 Chronicles 2:18 He appointed 70,000 of them to carry loads and 80,000 to quarry stones in the mountains and 3,600 supervisors to make the people work.

  • He appointed 70,000: "As it is ver. 2." 2Ch 2:2 

Related Passage:

2 Chronicles 2:2 So Solomon assigned 70,000 men to carry loads and 80,000 men to quarry stone in the mountains and 3,600 to supervise them. 

1 Kings 5:13-17 Now King Solomon levied forced laborers from all Israel; and the forced laborers numbered 30,000 men (THESE ARE APPARENTLY NATIVE ISRAELITES). 14 He sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in relays; they were in Lebanon a month and two months at home. And Adoniram was over the forced laborers.  15 Now Solomon had 70,000 transporters, and 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains, 16 besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were over the project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work. 17 Then the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stones.

Stone Cutter
(Parsons Bible Pictures)


He appointed 70,000 of them to carry loads (PORTERS) and 80,000 to quarry stones (STONECUTTERS) in the mountains and 3,600 supervisors to make the people work - Repetition of 2Ch 2:2. These were aliens, not native Israelites, and total up to the number 153,600 which was mentioned in 2Ch 2:17. The 3,600 supervisors directing the labor of the 70,000 bearers of burdens and 80,000 stonecutters, were actually Israelites (1Ki 5:16). See excellent summary by Warren Wiersbe.

Bob Utley - The number of "supervisors" in 1 Kgs. 5:16 is 3,300, but the LXX supports the Masoretic Text's "3,600." The LXX used a different Hebrew textual tradition than the MT. However, it must be added that the LXX usually agrees with Samuel and Kings against Chronicles; not so here.

John Olley -The Chronicler’s account of Solomon’s preparations, supplementing those made by David, concludes by repeating with more details the opening numbers of foreign workers (2Ch 2:2), following the pattern set by David (1Ch 22:2). The details summarize 1Ki 5:13–16, but the Chronicler omits the “30,000” who appear to be Israelites who worked in three shifts to help in Lebanon and mentions only “all the resident aliens who were in the land of Israel” (cf. 2Ch. 8:9 = 1Ki 9:22); “153,600” is his own total of the three figures matched in Kings (70,000 + 80,000 + 3,600). Workers and resources, from within Israel and paid for from outside, some arranged by David and the rest by Solomon, are now organized and at hand. Work can begin on the temple that is “for the name of the Lord” (2Ch 2:1).


1) Was Huram a believer in the true God of Israel? What was the relationship between the two countries?

2) How do the religious rites cited here (cf. vs. 4) as performed in the context of temple worship find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ?

3) What type of preparation and dedication and quality should be evidenced in our corporate worship today?

4) Were only foreign laborers used in the building project or did Solomon conscript some native born Israelites to help with the project?


Raymond Dillard: The actual relationship between Israel and Tyre was one of parity, not vassalage: (1) note the use of “brother” in 1 Kgs 9:13; cf. also 1 Kgs 20:33; (2) Hiram’s services required full recompense, hardly a sign of vassalage (1 Kgs 5:23 [9]); (3) the treaty between the powers gives no hint of subordination (1 Kgs 5:23 [9]). The relationship between Hiram and Solomon may have been cemented by diplomatic marriage (1 Kgs 11:1, 5).

John Olley - The mention of this foreign support is a looking forward to the time when “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10–11). Past events become pointers to the purposes of the Maker of heaven and earth. . . Solomon’s focus on the function of “offerings,” the activity for which the temple was built, is a reminder that all of the resources and structures of the church are to bring glory to God as we bring him the sacrifices of “praise . . . , not neglect[ing] to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Heb. 13:15, 16). We are enabled to do so because God has first given to his people the gifts that are needed (Eph. 2:8–10; 4:4–24).

J.A. Thompson: Several aspects of worship emerge from Solomon's letter.

  • First, true worship cannot abandon all tradition. On the one hand, of course, the temple would be a new thing in Israel. On the other hand, it would include worship—the sacrifice, incense, and prayers—with which the people were familiar and indeed which had been decreed by God himself (2Ch 2:4). Novelty can be good, but not if neither Scripture nor the people of God recognize it as true worship. 
  • Second, true worship is spiritual and recognizes that the architecture and ceremony of human houses of worship cannot capture what God himself is (2Ch 2:6). If we ever think that some place, ceremony, or object has captured the essence of the God we worship, we are in idolatry.
  • Third, true worship pays attention to quality. Solomon demanded that Hiram send only the best (2Ch 2:7–10). We make a mockery of worship if we suppose that God is indifferent to shabbiness and laziness in our preaching, singing, and even our preparation of the place of worship.
  • Finally, true worship bears witness to the outside world of the great God whom we worship (2Ch 2:5)

Frederick Mabie: The importance of a temple relates directly to the notion of sacred space—a place wherein the human realm could intersect with the divine realm and act as a conduit for divine presence and blessing. Since temples were understood to be sacred space (holy ground), the layout, features, and requisite rituals of these temples were connected to the attributes, provision, and strength of the deity. In Israel, the mediation of divine presence and holiness was the driving force behind the great importance attached to the proper procedures of approaching the holy space, usage of sanctified items, and human holiness. The careful attention to the design of the temple structure and legal stipulations pertaining to entering the temple reflect the importance of properly navigating sacred space. Such procedure and protocols function to establish and maintain proper boundaries between the sacred and human realm. The importance of maintaining boundaries for sacred space is also reflected in the use of veils and doors to separate the innermost area of the temple. Such barriers reflect metaphysical and theological points of separation between a holy God and a fallen human race. Moreover, such barriers are reminders of the necessity of approaching—and worshiping—God on his terms within the temple context.

Geoffrey Kirkland: What are some LESSONS ON PROPER WORSHIP from 2 Chronicles 2… 8 instructive lessons for us:

1. We need a proper FORM/STRUCTURE of worship (ordained by God Himself in Scripture)

2. We need a proper WITNESS in worship (bear witness to the outside world of our great God)

3. We need a proper GOD-CENTEREDNESS in worship (our house/temple doesn't capture who God is)

4. We need a proper QUALITY in worship (we give God our best)

5. We need a proper INTEGRITY/HEARTFULNESS in worship (no shabby slothful 'leftovers' worship)

6. We need a proper CORPORATENESS/TOGETHERNESS in worship (this is together)

7. We need a proper REGULARITY in worship (they sacrifice daily, weekly bread, this is repeated, ongoing, regular, frequent)

8. We need a proper HUMILITY in worship (Solomon said: "who am I that I should come and bring to God worship?”)



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